My wife and I agree about many things and there are a few things we disagree about; but when it comes to the ultimate vacation bargain we absolutely agree that a cruise is it. Sure the prices seem expensive, but they really aren't when you factor in what you get for what you spend; more about that later.
You get to sit back and relax leaving all the driving and destination planning to someone far more experienced than yourself. You get free food and free entertainment during the long treks. You can walk, sleep, swim or drink the travel time away without worrying about a missed turn or connection. You aren't restricted to confines of an automobile or a single motel room on a rainy day.
You can take in an afternoon movie or mingle with others playing the free deck games or just socializing in one of the many lounges on the ship. The better ships have a free library and you can even surf the web on a rented computer. On many of the ships you have the option of internet from your room on your laptop.
You don't get fleeced at the local tourist trap that someone called a fine restaurant. If you pick the right cruise line you know exactly what to expect for every meal you eat while on the ship. Even if you eat most of the meals at the buffet court, chances are you have a better selection of good eats than you would in most of the tourist traps.
Adult beverages aren't included, but on most cruises you can buy an unlimited soft beverage package for less than you spend in vending machines on the average workday. Tea, coffee, milk and juice are served along with your free meals.
You travel to a wide variety of ports and cover far more miles that you could in the same amount of time driving and at far less cost then flying about to the same places.
Early on in the article I said cruise were not expensive for what you really get. Let's take a look at some typical numbers using actual street price. Street price being defined as what you can pay if you are a good shopper and on average the street price is about 40% less than the list price.
Before we do that lets talk about meals. Even if Mickey D's is your all time favorite place to eat, you have to agree that $5 per meal per person is about as good as the price gets. Now if you are an experienced traveler and like to graze upscale even a couple of notches :), you would have to agree that $15 per person for mediocre food while 'on the road' is about the best you can do.
For a 12 day trip around the British Isles one would pay about $1600.00 per person street price for an inside cabin. Cost of a 12 day cruise vacation for two travelers $3200.00.
A decent hotel room 11 nights $2400.00
66 moderate 'on the road' meals $ 990.00
Subtotal to here $3390.00
I think I made my point, now factor in:
Transportation expenses for a few thousand miles
Live entertainment afternoon and evenings
Free movies afternoon and evenings
Other free activities to keep you entertained
I hope I've convinced you that a cruise in the ultimate, inexpensive vacation. We sure do love ours.
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